Definition of metrics

Site-wide visits: The number of sessions within a given time period. A visit is defined as a sequence of consecutive page views without a 30-minute break, or continuous activity for 12 hours. Visits most commonly consist of multiple image requests. However, visitors that bounce can consist of a single page view.

Visits in context of Marketing Channel reports: The number of visits that touched a particular channel. There can only be a single marketing channel attributed to each visit, however last touch visits can match more than one channel during the same session.

Site-wide visitors: The number of unique people that access your site within a given time period. A visitor commonly consists of multiple visits if users decide to return to your site.

Visitors in context of Marketing Channel reports: The number of unique people that touched a particular channel. Visitors can match more than one channel, just as they would be able to with visits.

Comparison of metrics

Marketing Channel visits higher than site-wide visits: The total visits at the bottom of each report always match. However, it is common for the sum of last touch visits in marketing channel reports to be higher than site-wide visits. For example:

  1. A user arrives to your site via paid search, and does not find what they are looking for. They click the Back button.
  2. Going through each of the search results, that same user arrives to your site via a natural search link. They browse around your site and leave again.

This user touched both the Paid Search and Natural Search channel increasing both visit line items. The total visit count however is deduplicated, as it was still a single visit.

Site-wide visits higher than Marketing Channel visits: This comparison is not possible in reporting. Any visits that do not touch a channel are listed under No Channel Identified, which is a line item in Marketing Channel reporting. If this line item was omitted, site-wide visits could be higher than Marketing Channel visits. Depending on your Marketing channel processing rules, not everybody is required to touch a channel in a visit.

Marketing Channel visitors higher than site-wide visitors: Similarly to the visits metric, visitors can touch more than one channel across multiple visits:

  1. A user arrives to your site via a social network channel. They like what they see, but are not in a position to purchase your product until tomorrow.
  2. The next day this same user comes back to your site by typing your URL directly into the browser.

This same visitor touched multiple channels, which is reflected in the Marketing Channel report. They, however, were still just a single visitor, which is reflected in both the Marketing Channel total and the site-wide total.

Site-wide visitors higher than Marketing Channel visitors: Also similarly to the visits metric, this comparison is not possible in reporting. Any visitors that do not touch a channel are listed under No Channel Identified, which is a line item in Marketing Channel reporting.

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